Deerfield Valley Art Association christens new Northfield gallery with photography exhibit

  • Photographs on display at the new gallery and gift shop space at the Deerfield Valley Art Association’s Center for the Arts on Main Street in Northfield. The current exhibit will run through June 12. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Photographs on display at the new gallery and gift shop space at the Deerfield Valley Art Association’s Center for the Arts on Main Street in Northfield. The current exhibit will run through June 12. Staff Photos/Paul Franz

  • Photographs on display at the new gallery space at the Deerfield Valley Art Association’s Center for the Arts on Main Street in Northfield. The current exhibit will run through June 12. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Photographs on display at the new gallery and gift shop space at the Deerfield Valley Art Association’s Center for the Arts on Main Street in Northfield. The current exhibit will run through June 12. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • The Deerfield Valley Art Association’s Center for the Arts has moved to the former Cameron’s Winery space on Main Street in Northfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 5/3/2021 11:39:25 AM

The Deerfield Valley Art Association (DVAA) has christened its new Center for the Arts gallery space in Northfield with a recently opened photography exhibit, and held a DVAA board celebration with featured artists and invited guests.

After moving within the same building at 105 Main St. into the former Cameron’s Winery space earlier this year, the gallery was remodeled. Featuring work from various New England photographers, its current exhibit is open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. through June 12.

Northfield artist Kackie St. Clair submitted a series of collages to the exhibit. Images of dunes and rocks on the Cape Cod shoreline are captured and developed on 35mm film and placed together, overlapped within the frame. The escaping tide catches around the rocks, creating dancing lines in the sand around them.

“There’s a musical feeling to it,” St. Clair said of her collages. “You can express things in so many different ways, and there are always surprises. When you move a piece of an image around to another part you might think, ‘Well, look at that, it’s saying something very different.’”

M.J. Hauri, another Northfield artist and longtime DVAA member, contributed photos printed on panels. One of her images is of clouds over Great Pond in Maine.

“I actually work in oil painting, mostly,” Hauri said. “I go out taking pictures to paint from, and sometimes the photograph is just better than what I could paint.”

Vimala Steadman, a painter from Winchester, N.H., who also volunteered on DVAA’s move transition team, contributed multiple photos for the current exhibit. Some of her photographs were taken at famed American novelist Ernest Hemingway’s estate in Cuba.

“I do a lot of photo manipulation, but I do not consider myself a photographer,” Steadman said. “I’m a painter, but I’ve been taking photographs ever since I was in maybe fifth or sixth grade.”

She said she loves manipulated photos using different techniques, sometimes apps or computer programs, to style the photos as if they were abstract paintings. A lot of the time, she said, this manipulation practice inspires her to create a painting based on the image. Some of her photo manipulations are included in the exhibit in addition to the original photos.

A gallery celebration event on April 20 saw contributing artists, DVAA board members, Exhibit Coordinator Marge Anderson, Northfield Area Tourism and Business Association (NATABA) founders Joan and Steve Stoia, Town Administrator Andrea Llamas and Northfield Community Bible Church Pastor Bob Emberley in attendance.

The Community Bible Church purchased the 105 Main St. building this winter and moved its church services into the former DVAA space once the gallery relocated next door. Emberley said this switch worked out well, as the church preferred the former gallery space and the art association preferred its new space in the former winery. Cameron’s Winery moved to 1046 Millers Falls Road in December.

The gallery space has new wood floors and a fresh coat of white paint that provides a classic gallery atmosphere. An anonymous donor paid for sheer blinds to protect art from the western-facing, afternoon sun. There is also a room, covered by a new barn door, that will be used as an event space after COVID-19 limitations are lifted.

Emberley said the renovations are an investment in the church’s new neighbor, and tenant. He also noted DVAA receives reduced rent, allowing it to stay in Northfield and remain a local attraction after the association expressed concern with paying its previous rent rate following a year of decreased income.

“It’s a new start,” said DVAA President William Rathbun, a multimedia artist from Leverett. “After the last year, we were afraid we were going to have to close up. … This was kind of a miracle the way it presented itself. I think things are going to work out.”

Greenfield Recorder photographer Paul Franz was invited to the new gallery to judge the two categories in the photography exhibit: Professional Camera and iPhone Camera. The winners are as follows:

Professional Camera

■First place — “Behold” by Christine Daugherty of Greenfield

■Second place — “Florence Visitors” by Carol Dunn of Hanover, Conn.

iPhone Camera

■First place — “Rainbow at Sunset” by Sally Dillon of Amherst

■Second place — “Canyon Tree Frog” by Chris Dillon of Windsor, Conn.

Third place in the combined categories was awarded to “Deerfield Playing Fields” by Melanie Phillips of Northfield and “Zebra Caterpillar” by Chris Dillon of Windsor, Conn.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at zdeluca@recorder.com or 413-930-4579.




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